Los Gatos Discrimination Lawyer
Although employees in California work primarily “at-will,” there are protections provided by law that prevent employers from taking actions against employees for reasons that are considered discriminatory. Federal and state laws limit employers when it comes to employment-related decisions regarding protected groups. Unfortunately, even though it is illegal to discriminate against employees for reasons involving their protected status, many employers still engage in this wrongful behavior. In California and nationally, data indicates that discrimination based on race, age, sex, gender, and pregnancy are still significant workplace problems. If you work in Los Gatos, California, and you believe that your employer has discriminated against you, contact the Costanzo Law Firm. Our Los Gatos discrimination lawyers work to protect the rights of employees. Call 408-993-8493 today to discuss options for pursuing a claim against your employer.
Los Gatos Protected Categories
In Los Gatos, California, there are many protected classes of employees. Employers are prohibited from making employment-related decisions based on a person’s protected status. For example, refusing to hire an individual based on their ethnicity, firing an individual for their age when that person is over 40, or denying a promotion to an individual based on their sex are all illegal practices in California. The following list includes categories that are protected from discrimination:
- country of origin
- race or color
- gender identity
- sexual orientation
- marital status
- genetic information
- medical condition
- military/veteran status
There are also federal laws in place that prohibit discrimination. The federal law overlaps with many of the categories that are protected in California. However, California law has additional protected categories. In some cases, employees are better off filing state law claims because of the additional protections provided under California statutes. If your employer discriminated against you in the workplace, contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney.
Wrongful Termination Law
Although employees work “at-will” most of the time in California, employers cannot fire an individual for any reason whatsoever. In some cases, employees have contracts that state when and how an employer can end an employee’s relationship with the company. In other cases, employers can face the consequences of terminating a person’s employment based on the employee’s membership in a protected group. It can be a challenge to prove that an employer is terminating a person’s position with the company for a discriminatory reason rather than for a legitimate purpose. In fact, in most cases, employers do not have to provide any reason for their decision to terminate an employee. When an employer terminates an employee as a form of discrimination, they might provide a false explanation for doing so. It may be possible to prove that the alleged reason for the termination is really a way to cover up the wrongful act. Contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney to discuss your options for filing a claim and holding your employer accountable.
Filing Discrimination Claims in Los Gatos
If you believe that you have been discriminated against in California, you might have the option of filing either a federal claim or a state law claim. For federal claims, you will first have to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to initiate the process. California state claims are processed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The agency you file your claim with will then provide you with a right to sue letter after receiving your complaint or completing an investigation.
Your attorney will help you decide the proper claim to file and whether to pursue a claim based on federal or state law. As stated above, California law expanded the categories protected from discrimination. As such, there may be cases where an individual will have a state law claim but will not be protected by federal law. The federal law also includes certain defenses for businesses that will not work based on California’s statutes. There are several considerations that your attorney will take into account when counseling you on the right way to pursue your claim. Contact a Los Gatos, California, employment law attorney to discuss the best course of action in your case.
Retaliation Claims in Los Gatos
Employees often fear that filing a discrimination claim will lead to retaliation at the hands of their employer. Employees may also feel as though their employers are too powerful for them to challenge. Although in some cases employees will have already lost their job as a result of the discrimination, there are other employees who suspect discrimination is the reason that they are not receiving fair treatment in their place of work. These individuals may be concerned that raising their claims will lead to further wrongful actions by their employers. It is important to understand that in California, employees are protected from retaliation at the hands of their employers. To learn more about how the law protects you from such actions, contact the Los Gatos, California, employment law attorneys at the Costanzo Law Firm.
Call the Costanzo Law Firm Today for Help With Employment Discrimination in Los Gatos
At the Costanzo Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of workers across California. If you suffered from discrimination at the hands of your employer, the law provides protection. Call us today at 408-993-8493 to discuss your claim with an experienced Los Gatos, California employment law attorney.